Struggling To Surrender : Some Impressions of an American Convert to Islam - Jeffrey Lang

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Title: Struggling To Surrender: Some Impressions of an American Convert to Islam

Author: Jeffrey Lang 

Publisher: Amana Publications

Binding: Paperback, 245 pages


Review by Daniel Pipes:

Lang, a white professor of mathematics at the University of Kansas, explains his reasons for converting to Islam at the age of twenty-eight in 1982, his subsequent experiences, and his views on reforming Islam.

Like many other American converts, Lang felt disaffected from American life and refers in an off-hand way to "our society's unrelenting greed and neglect." He found himself inching toward Islam through warm personal relations, then finally making the leap. It began easily: he tells of the "jubilation and relief" his conversion brought his Muslim friends, followed by their hugs. But things quickly became more challening; he characterizes the transition as "a journey from individualism to traditionalism, from learning to illumination, from the sensible to the unseen, from reason to intuition."

Lang made a serious study of Islam and reflects in an informed way on such issues as the validity of the hadith (reports on the sayings and doings of the Prophet Muhammad) and the position of women. He argues that Islam's special quality lies in its rationality; and that it can only aspire to being more than "just another religion" if Muslims make a "rationally compelling case."



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